In a week filled being busy, finding the time to cook an elaborate meal can be a whole big job. And even though my beau and I manage to get fresh food on the table almost every day, I have to admit that we often stick to easy and familiar recipes that are ready in half an hour or three quarters tops. Which is exactly why, on Sunday we like to take the time for slow food, like a stew that has to simmer for about three hours or, even better, moussaka.
The downside of this Greek dish is that it takes you about 2 hours and all of your pots and pans to prepare it. The upside, however, is that it's so absolutely over-the-top delicious and comforting, you immediately forget all the trouble you've gone through to make it, the minute the first bite hits your mouth.
Now, as for the recipe, you can find it right here:
- 400g of peeled tomatoes
- 2 tsp of concentrated tomato paste
- 3 small onions
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 500g of minced meat (I used a mixture of beef and porc)
- 2 eggplants
- 4 potatoes
- 50g of butter
- 50g of flour
- 500ml of milk
- 2 hands of grated cheese (I used emmentaler)
- pepper, salt and cinnamon
Peel your potatoes and cut them in slices of about 7mm. Steam or boil them until done (about 20mins).
Wash your eggplants and cut them in slices of about 7mm. Sprinkle some salt on them and let them rest for a moment.
Peel and cut your onions and garlic and fry them in a large pan. When your onion is slightly golden, add the minced meat and bake until it's no longer raw, but not too dry either. Add the can of peeled tomatoes and cut them in smaller pieces. Add some salt and quite a nice amount of pepper and cinnamon and let it simmer.
Meanwhile you return to you eggplants. You'll see that they've become quite moisty. Clean them of with some pieces off kitchen paper (otherwise they might taste bitter) and bake them - in several batches - in a royally greased pan. I always use a combo of olive oil and butter for this.
Put the baked eggplants on a plate and start making your white sauce. Let your butter slowly melt in small pan (make sure it doesn't brown!) and add the flour. Whisk for a few minutes until it starts to smell like a nice biscuit. Add your milk and keep on whisking. At first you will think it's far too runny, but if you persist, you get a nice creamy white sauce. Add a handful of grated cheese, let it melt et voilà.
Now, it's layer time. Fill the bottom of your ovenproof dish with slices of eggplant, spoon over a layer of the tomato sauce, lay on slices of potatoe and end with a rich layer of white sauce. Repeat. And finish off with another handfull of grated cheese for a nice crust.
Put in the oven on 175°C for 50mins. Let it cool down for a few minutes before serving.